Man boobs, muffin tops and bingo wings

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Yes, it’s that time. A new year – heck, a new decade even – is just around the corner. Such times can act as harbingers for change in a person’s life. I’m ready for change, on so many counts.

On the health and fitness front I have quite a lot to do. You see – I used to be something of a gym bunny. I used to go to the gym 2-3 times a week. I used to run at weekends. I was wonderfully slim and I loved it. I’m 6ft tall and though that’s hardly a giant, I really enjoyed the tall/slim look. The 32/34 waist/trouser leg. It gave me confidence. And to my amazement – I enjoyed the workouts. Not so much during, but the feeling you get after.

I stopped going to the gym as my membership ran out about 8-9 months ago. One of the big – and it is big – downsides of my current job is that it’s very demanding. The hours are long. No, they may not be ‘City lawyer’ hours, but they’re still 50-55 per week (which if you include 1 hour traveling each way) is 60-65 hours a week. This a lot. This leaves much less time for ‘a life’ than you’d think. And because I find the work draining and exhausting – I seek respite in food and more specifically – drink.

I’ve been drinking a lot of alcohol these past 9 months. I don’t mean ‘drinking to get drunk’. In fact, I hardly ever get drunk. In the last year I’ve been ‘totally drunk’ once (Polish friend’s 30th when I had far too much vodka which I wouldn’t normally drink), I’ve had 1-2 ‘quite drunk’ episodes (as in, feeling rough the next day) and maybe 50-75 ‘tipsy/relaxed’ occasions – where I feel fine the next day having consumed, say, 1/2 a bottle of wine and possibly a G&T or pastis as a chaser.

The big downside of social drinking for relaxing is that it adds significant calories to your diet which, invariably, end up as fat. In the days when I went to the gym, this wasn’t a big deal as you’d burn these off. But with no gym going, I’m no longer burning the excess off.

And when you don’t go to the gym it becomes a kind of ‘holistic fail’. I’ve stopped watching what I eat. I eat way too much snack food – crisps, cheeses, breads, biscuits, chocolates, etc. I’m far too tired to cook in the evenings (and I tend to have a big lunch instead) so I snack in the evening. This isn’t good.

So my plan for 2010 is to return to form. I really enjoyed where I was with 2 years gym and exercise behind me. A number of people would argue (and did argue at the time) that I’d perhaps gone too far. That I’d lost too much weight (my waist went down to about a 31), but It was just the right side of slim rather than skinny (in my eyes). Regardless, I felt really good about myself. And when you feel good about yourself you see the world through a different lens.

Ultimately, you don’t lose weight or get in shape for any one other than yourself. If you’re big and you’re happy with that – good for you. But the wonderful, uplifting feeling you get when you set your mind to changing your lifestyle and when you then see the results, well, it’s a great feeling. Seeing your body change (for the better) is hugely rewarding.

And I hate dieting. I’ve always maintained that you won’t lose weight through dieting alone. Sure, people do. But most of them are unhappy doing it. Either that or they have loads of time on their hands to plan meticulous diets. Yeh, fruit and veg is very good for you. But it can be very bland unless you have the time to prepare it in an imaginative way.

I am planning to move. Imminently. This will inform my gym arrangements. So the gym option isn’t going to happen quite yet. But I’m going to reduce my drinking in the New Year to a max of 3x a week. And I’m going to cut out all snack foods Monday-Thursday. I’m going to stick with salad or soup and salad for lunch, at work. I’m going to rekindle my former obsession with M&S natural probiotic yoghurt, mixed with chopped fruit and a handful of mixed nuts and seeds.

I pulled a muscle running sometime in summer. Ever since then I stopped running. I plan to restart in the New Year. Slowly. I totally overdid it that time which is how I pulled that muscle. I’ve learned my lesson though.

And I’ll keep going to pilates which I get via work.

So here’s to a leaner, healthier, fitter 2010 and beyond.

10 thoughts on “Man boobs, muffin tops and bingo wings

  1. I’m what has always been described as ‘a big girl’, and have never been both lean and fit. But I have been very much fitter than I am now – there was even a six-pack in evidence at one stage – but that was when I had a responsibility-free job that finished at 4.30 and I went straight to the gym three times a week, where I did whatever hour-long class that was going. And I loved it.

    Running is a key exercise – costs nothing (if you do it for real, and not on a treadmill), you can go at your own pace, when it suits you, you burn loads of calories, AND it’s excellent for building bone density.

    And look at me just trying to talk myself into doing it again. But I really should.

    Good luck to you!

  2. I hear ya, I fell off the gym wagon for a few weeks before the holidays – picking up extra shifts to make enough to buy prezzies for everyone I wanted to buy stuff for. Back to the grind is the way to go, right?

    Good luck on your New You adventure, I’ll enjoy keeping tabs on it!

  3. All that sounds good – my exercise of choice is of course swimming and I’m doing quite a bit and plan to keep it up at least twice a week, hopefully more often. (I like walking too but not in the snow/ice/rain!) But as for those photos of Vanessa Feltz – – she’s telling BIG porky pies about the dress sizes – I weigh well over a stone less than she does in the “after” photo and I’m a size 18, trying to get down to a 16. So size 14, Vanessa – – I don’t think so!

  4. My main source of ejercicio (that I haven’t done since it started getting nippy outside) is jogging. I put on mah MP3 playa and just run about the town pretending that I am famous and singing on TV! I get to daydream while also getting a workout! FUN!

  5. Craig – thank you stranger! You are pretty a-dork-able yourself! πŸ˜€ And you’ve done a lot on the gym front recently, way more than me, which is great. I’m looking forward to getting back into it.

    SC – totally agree with you re: job getting in the way. It can really make a person resentful (which it has me). Also agree that running is extremely good way of staying fit and losing weight. I’m unusual though insomuch as I prefer the treadmill to running on the street. If I lived somewhere less built up I might not mind so much.

    Actionbabe – agree re: back to the grind! Earning a living and finding time to do other things is tricky to balance I increasingly find.

    Daphne – you are doing more exercise than any one else I blog these days, what with your 1 mile per morning swims! Incredible! I WISH I was a good swimmer. I really find it hard.

    Josh – you are super slim so don’t lose any more weight! Agree with you that jogging is vvvvvvvvv good way of staying in shape.

    Birdy – jealous that you own a treadmill, I wish I did. And yes, we should have weigh ins. I used to have a weight-o-meter on my old blog (you may recall). But as Vic pointed out to me a while back, it’s less my ‘weight’ and more the ‘shape’ thing I need to sort. So I want to not fixate quite so much on weight this time round, but rather body shape. Tricky though as it’s so much harder to measure.

  6. I’m hoping to actually start the gym at work this month. I joined at the beginning of Dec on a Thursday then had my op the following Tuesday. Would be miffed if itt was costing me a lot of money. Used to enjoy swimming so I may try that as well.
    Good luck!

  7. I am dragging myself back to the gym and pool and monitoring portion sizes starting Sunday. I’m sure you’ll be in shape in no time at all since you enjoy the gym πŸ˜‰

    @daphne my SO is a photographer and can tell you stories about the size zeros of Hollywood that she photographs in Cannes every year. The camera can put a whole dress size on you. She describes Angelina jolie and Sharon Stone as bobbleheads. Stick-thin with a huge head out of proportion on their thin bodies. Just saying… Btw also working on getting down to a 14 or 12…sigh , those were the days.

  8. Pingback: My body is a temple « The Year Zero

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